Disneyland Paris to recruit 8,000 new staff

Ever fancied the chance to work with Mickey and Minnie in France's most famous theme park? Disneyland Paris is holding a giant recruitment fair over the next two days in which it hopes to find thousands of new staff, many in permanent roles. Read on for details.

Disneyland Paris to recruit 8,000 new staff
Disneyland Paris is recruiting 8,000 new workers. Fancy joining Mickey and Minie in France's most famous theme park? : GLenn Guttierez/Flickr

France may be struggling under record unemployment levels, but one company at least is still looking for new staff – thousands of them in fact.

On Friday and Saturday, Disneyland Paris will be holding its 2014 recruitment fair where 8,000 jobs will be up for grabs.

“This event is the ideal occasion to find the employees we need for the summer season and for our development,” said Daniel Dreux, vice-president of Human Resources.

“This year we are planning on recruiting between 6000 – 7000 temporary staff to which we will add 1000 full time permanent employees, which will include 200 under 26 years old and a minimum of 25 seniors,” he added.

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As well as being able to speak English and French fluently candidates must have the desire “to interact strongly with the visitors”.

The opening up of the theme park’s new Ratatouille attraction, which will happen in summer, has helped created between 50 and 70 permanent positions.

Disneyland will also use the jobs fair event to hunt out around 1, 500 future interns, half of whom will receive paid placements.

The mass recruitment drive may appear out of context with France’s struggling economy but even since the beginning of the crisis, Disneyland has continued to offer employment opportunities for both temporary and permanent positions.

“We are consistently creating between 250 and 300 new jobs each year,” Dreux told the Figaro.

“This policy goes hand in hand with the increasing spending power of our employees, which has gone up by 14%. We believe that the motivation of our employees is one of the motors for the development of our activity.”

To go along with the fair Disneyland’s has launched its publicity campaign to persuade jobseekers to come on board. It’s titled “making people dream, it’s a profession”.

Disneyland offers expats in France one of the better chances of landing a job. It employs around 15,000 people during the peak season, made up of 100 different nationalities, speaking 20 different languages, across 500 various roles.

“We put emphasis on the importance of mobility and durable career paths. More than 80% of our management staff are recruited internally,” points out Dreux.

The group claims to receive 70 000 spontaneous applications each year. The average length of service for staff is 9 years and 15 for executives. 

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How to get a summer job in France

As the summer holidays approach in France, many employers are looking for seasonal workers - so if you're looking for a summer job, here's how to go about it.

How to get a summer job in France

There are thousands of employment offers in France – a simple internet search for jobs d’été came up with numerous jobs boards offering work in France, while the government-backed Centre d’Information et de Documentation pour la Jeunesse (CIDJ) offers advice and information on all aspects of life for young people in France, including finding seasonal work and summer placements.

Sectors including agriculture, hospitality and tourism are always recruiting in the summer, seeking fruit-pickers, holiday camp workers and serving/hotel staff.

But what are the rules for people seeking summer jobs?

READ ALSO Vendange: What you really sign up for when you agree to help with the French wine harvest


Children from the age of 16 (under certain circumstances, the age limit drops to 14) who are legally resident in France can work as long as they have written authorisation from their parents or legal guardians. A model authorisation letter is available here

Those under the age of 18 cannot undertake certain jobs for health and safety reasons.

In the following circumstances, children as young as 14 or 15 can work during school holidays.

  • The holidays must last at least 14 days;
  • The child must work no more than half the days of the holiday – so, if a vacation period is two weeks, they can work for no more than one of those weeks;
  • The child is given ‘light duties’ that offer no risk to their safety, health, or development;
  • From the age of 15 and if the child has completed their troisieme education, a minor can register for an apprenticeship. 


Salary is usually paid monthly and will have a payslip. For those aged 18 and over, pay will be at least equal to the minimum wage.

 For those aged 14 to 17, who have less than six months’ professional experience, the minimum allowed rate is 80 percent of the minimum wage. For those aged 17 to 18, the rate rises to a minimum of 90 percent of France’s minimum wage.

  • The minimum wage in France is currently €10.85 gross per hour (€1,645.58 gross per month based on a 35-hour week);
  • the employment contract is fixed-term and can take different forms (fixed-term contract, seasonal employment contract, temporary employment contract, etc);
  • Seasonal employees are subject to the same obligations as the other employees of the company and have access to the same benefits (canteens, breaks, etc.).

Under 18s have certain additional protections:

  • between the ages of 14 and 16, during school holidays, employees on any contract cannot work more than 35 hours per week nor more than 7 hours per day;
  • They cannot work at night;
  • Those aged 14 to under 16 working during their school holidays can only be assigned to work which is not likely to harm their safety, their health or development.

Right to work in France

If you’re a French citizen or hold permanent residency in France then you have the right to work, but for foreigners there are extra restrictions.

Anyone who holds the passport of a EU/EEA country or Switzerland, is free to work in France or to travel to France seeking work without needing a visa or work permit.

Most other people will need permission to work in France – even if it’s only for a short period or for casual work such as grape-picking. Depending on your country of origin you may need a visa – everything you need to know about that is here.

In addition to the visa, you may also need a work permit, which is the responsibility of the employer.  To employ anyone in France for less than 90 days, an employer must get a temporary work permit – before the prospective employee applies for a short stay visa. This permit is then sent to the embassy at which the employee is applying for a visa.

If you come from countries including the UK, USA and Canada you can spend up to 90 days in France without a visa – but you may still need a work (convention d’accueil) if you want to work while you are here.

READ ALSO Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in France

Certain countries have specific ‘seasonal worker’ visas on offer, for certain sectors which allows – for example – Canadians to come to France and work the ski season. 

Cash-in-hand jobs

Certain sectors which have a lot of casual workers – for example seasonal fruit-picking – do have cash-in-hand jobs, known in France as marché noir (black market) or simply travail au black (working on the black, or working illegally). 

This is of course illegal and working this way carries risks – as well as the possibility of losing your job if labour inspectors turn up you are also in a vulnerable position. If your employer suddenly decides not to pay you, or make unexpected deductions from your wages, there is very little you can do about it since you won’t have any kind of work contract.